Guidance and Counselling constitutes an important aspect of education, and so it is necessary to enhance its development to enable it play its vital role in any educational system. Guidance and Counselling helps individual students to assess and appreciate their potential and tendency towards growth, career development and self-actualization.
To make guidance and Counselling services available in all educational institutions in Ghana, the Ghana Education Service has now included guidance and Counselling in the teacher education syllabuses, so that all teachers coming from the Teacher Training Colleges may be able to give guidance and counselling to their pupils and students. Guidance and Counselling has also been included in the curriculum of the Faculty of Education of the University of Cape Coast and that of the university College of Education, Winneba.
The Ghana Education Service has established Guidance and Counselling units in all the regional and district education offices to provide and co-ordinate Guidance and Counselling services in the educational institutions.
To help detect learning defects which may lead to the phenomenon of early drop-outs, the Ghana Education Service plans to develop diagnostic tests appropriately normed for use in Ghana at various levels of education. Such instruments in the hands of competent Guidance Counsellors will facilitate early detection of special needs of their pupils and students for appropriate intervention strategies to be planned for them.
In the light of this, Special Education has been made a subject in the syllabus of Teacher Training Colleges in the country. This is to enable the teacher trainees to acquire the needed skills to detect and handle handicapped cases properly.
Some second-cycle institutions under the Ghana Education Service have Guidance Counsellors and Co-ordinators? Steps will be taken to ensure that the rest are provided with qualified guidance personnel. Regular in-service training courses are organized for all the guidance personnel in the regional and district offices and those in the institutions.
In the Technical Institutes there are Industrial Liaison Officers working closely with the guidance personnel to arrange industrial visits for the students, as well as industrial attachments for both teachers and students.
The need has been felt to intensify educational and vocational guidance for schools. In this connection, steps are being taken to make both boys and girls aware, right from Primary Schools, of the equal opportunities for technical and vocational education programmes for both sexes.
Collaboration with the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare
The Labour Department of the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare has a unit known as National Employment Service which, among other things, gives vocational guidance and employment counselling. The Ghana Education Service provides guidance services in the schools in collaboration with this unit.
Both the Labour Department and the Ghana Education Service provide facilities for vocational guidance to young persons in the Junior Secondary Schools. They help them to make the right choice of programme, to select the elective subjects to study in the Senior Secondary School, Technical Institute or other second-cycle institution and to acquire the right skills for employment. The activities undertaken by these two organizations to assist the Junior Secondary School pupils include:
i. dissemination of information regarding occupations by means of:
- films on people at work;
- visits to various places of work;
- group discussions;
ii. individual vocational guidance interviews;
iii. job placement;
iv. review of progress of young workers;
v. creating awareness in the students of the opportunities for further education in adult life.
Under an arrangment between the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare, the Ghana Education Service and the Labour Department have each a set of specific responsibilities in the area of career guidance and counselling.
The Ghana Education Service's responsibilities include:
- educational guidance in respect of school courses;
- further education, scholarships, etc.;
- preliminary vocational guidance including dissemination of occupational information, discussions and visits;
- provision of information about abilities and attainments of prospective school-leavers; and
- training of careers counsellors.
The responsibilities of the labour Department include:
- provision of occupational and employment information;
- vocational guidance, e.g. giving talks on careers to students;
- placement in employment;
- review of progress of the young persons in employment.